The Impact of Entry Preconditions on Student Dropout and Subject Change in Business and Economics

  • C. Kühling-TheesEmail author
  • R. Happ
  • Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia
  • Hans Anand Pant


The proportion of students dropping out of higher education economics is remarkably high at approximately 25 % and has been constant for years. The results on the entry preconditions of dropping out and changing subjects in Bachelor’s degree programs in business and economics presented in this paper are based on a representative longitudinal study in Germany. In two survey waves, the cognitive entry preconditions and characteristics of business and economics students related to their study and learning processes were tested. Dropouts have lower levels of previous knowledge than students changing subjects and students who continue to study business and economics. The students’ characteristics related to study and learning processes also show significant differences between these three groups. Of particular relevance are the credit points achieved within the first academic year. The identified characteristics of dropouts and subject changers offer valuable implications for further higher education research and practice.


Student dropout subject change entry preconditions higher education economics longitudinal study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Kühling-Thees
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Happ
    • 1
  • Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia
    • 3
  • Hans Anand Pant
    • 2
  1. 1.Johannes Gutenberg-UniversitätMainzGermany
  2. 2.Humboldt University of BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany

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